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Does Increasing Market Complexity Benefit Consumers? High Court Ponders

The emergence of ever more complex trading algorithms has enabled once simple markets to become increasingly sophisticated and, in an important decision relating to the market in holiday timeshare exchanges, the High Court has analysed the impact of such developments on consumers. The case concerned a company that provided a service to timeshare owners whereby...

Investment Bank Defeats $1.2 Billion Undue Influence Claim

Business relationships depend on cordiality and trust – but at what point do such arrangements give rise to dependency and a duty of care? The High Court addressed that thorny issue in the case of a sovereign wealth fund that blamed an investment bank after losing more than $1 billion following the 2008 financial crisis. The fund was established to manage...

Limitations on Liability for Losses at Sea – High Court Ruling

The perils of the oceans are obvious and, in order to facilitate international trade, the law has long placed limits on potential liabilities in respect of losses incurred at sea. However, in a case that broke new legal ground, the High Court has ruled that one such limitation does not apply to bulk cargoes. The Hague Rules, which are incorporated in the...

£3 Million Fine Upheld After Offshore Gas Leak Risked Workers’ Lives

Fines imposed on companies for health and safety breaches are meant to hurt and their size in part depends on the scale and prosperity of the perpetrator. In one case, an energy company with a turnover of £4.8 billion was fined £3 million in respect of an offshore gas leak that put lives at risk. The company, a subsidiary of an American multinational, was hit...

Dealing With the Public? Do You Understand Anti-Discrimination Rules?

Any business, however small, that deals with the public would be wise to seek legal advice on how to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws. In one case that made that point, a retail bakery was found to have discriminated against a gay customer when it refused to ice the message ‘Support Gay Marriage’ onto a cake. The directors of the bakery, in...

Uber Drivers Triumph in Employment Rights Test Case

Taxi app phenomenon Uber has suffered a serious blow to its business model after its claim that it works for its 30,000 London drivers, rather than the other way round, was dismissed as pure fiction by an Employment Tribunal (ET). The ruling means that Uber drivers have all the rights of ordinary employees. The test case was brought by a number of past and...